A new call of action for Rosa Guiterrez Lopez, who faces deportation, was held at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church, led by Reverand Dr. William Barber II, whose heart is filled with compassion for undocumented immigrants.
“Every person has equal protection under the law…and this is a place of sanctuary,” he said to a church full of people.
Lopez and Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando stood with him on stage, listening to the Reverend assure Lopez she had immunity from being arrested by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement living inside the church in Bethesda, Maryland.
“I haven’t stepped one foot outside this church in five months…” Lopez said in Spanish. “Because ICE might arrest me, but I have faith in God that everything will work out.”
Lopez said she made the decision to stay in the United States to be closer to her children who live in Virginia. Although she cannot physically step outside of the church in order to see them, they go visit her.
“It is a sacrifice she is willing to make for the love of her children, and wants to be allowed to stay in the United States until she can be provided asylum,” Lopez’s lawyer Jasmine Tohidi said.
Tohidi also explained that although it is an “internal memo” of ICE agents to not arrest undocumented immigrants in hospitals and places of worship, technically they could still arrest Lopez if they chose to.
Up to this point, there hasn’t been any attempt to enter the church, but there has been a request from ICE to bring Lopez out of the sanctuary. Lopez’s lawyer also said she is trying to get a court date set to discuss giving Lopez aslyum and the paperwork was filed abotu two weeks ago.